Legendary recording artist Eric Clapton is a bona fide member of music royalty.
He just happens to be a three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and over the course of his career he has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards.
Something a lot of folks may not know is that Clapton was a member of a number of awe-inspiring rock and blues ensembles, including The Yardbirds, Cream, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, and Derek and the Dominos.
One particular endeavor of Clapton that holds personal significance for me is his nurturing and archiving of America’s musical treasure, The Blues.
His style of playing and choice of material reflects his own influences: famed artists Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, and Buddy Guy, among others.
Clapton collaborated on an album with B.B. King and released CDs that featured the work of Delta Blues master Robert Johnson.
After a long and illustrious career, Clapton is now having to endure the unimaginable—an onslaught of digital venom from the cancel culture.
The outrage mob that lurks in the shadows of social media slander circles currently has its sights set on destroying a heretofore sterling career and reputation of the iconic singer, songwriter, record producer, and guitarist.
What did Clapton do to deserve the onslaught of Internet hate?
He and fellow musical artist Van Morrison recently announced that the two of them would be releasing a protest song that related to government lockdowns, which have been imposed on people around the globe, all in the name of public health.
The tune is titled “Stand and Deliver.” Morrison, who wrote the song, is a musical legend in his own right, having been the front man for the seminal rock group, Them. He also skyrocketed to stardom as a solo artist with a distinctive soul brand all his own.
In a statement to Variety, Clapton characterized the lack of live music due to lockdowns as “deeply upsetting.”
“There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration,” Clapton said. “We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess.”
Morrison praised Clapton for having participated in the tune, saying, “Eric’s recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations.”
In addition to “Stand and Deliver,” Morrison is set this week to release three other protest-themed songs: “No More Lockdown,” “As I Walked Out,” and “Born to Be Free.”
The songs portray the coronavirus lockdowns as “fascist” and also hit Hollywood celebs for “telling us what we’re supposed to feel.”
Proceeds from the recordings go to Morrison’s initiative for musicians who are struggling as a fallout of the lockdowns.
Using music as a protest vehicle is a time honored tradition that dates back to the singer-songwriters of the 1960s. However, in today’s left-of-center’s warped selective embrace of censorship, musical expressions that contradict the agenda of the elitist class must be stricken from the public square.
As a result of the recording of the song and the public announcement of its release, Clapton has suffered a barrage of social media vitriol, including a sizable amount from members of the outrage mob, who dragged out statements of Clapton from more than 40 years ago.
This was an unfortunate time for the musical artist, a period in his life when he was in addiction’s dreadful grip. His remarks, which were made back in 1976, were featured on the Twitter account of singer-songwriter Deren Ney, who wrote that “all of [Clapton’s] racism wouldn’t fit in one screenshot.”
A band called The Mountain Goats, which had released a song about the pandemic, attacked both Clapton and Morrison in a tweet, and threw a number of expletives in for supposed effect. Numerous other tweets were posted on the web, accusing Clapton of being a racist.
The Vulture website joined in with the digital assault, and also threw in some politics in its citing of the “climb in COVID-19 cases.”
In another politicized piece, The Los Angeles Times noted that “Twitter is not amused” by Clapton’s taking a position against lockdowns in song. The publication then wagged its accusatory racist finger.
Despite failed models, questionable data, and nonsensical demands from government, millions of protesters have taken to the streets in the U.S., European countries, and international communities.
It could be that the politicization of the coronavirus has reached its zenith, thanks in part to Clapton and Morrison.
Music has that magical effect. It can reach into our souls and drown out all the unwelcome noise.